John Combe, Citizen, Draper, Merchant & Adventurer
and Margaret Archdale, His Wyfe
Drapers CompanyCoat of Arms, Worshipful Company of DrapersCoat of Arms "…I have been adventured to sundrie places within the straights ever since October 1584 … to Marsalles to Lingee … and to Napels and to Venice…"
of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London


The first edition of this Combs &c. Research Report was published in late 1998, following two years of active research by Combs &c. Researchers that continues to this day. The primary researcher is Denise Mortorff who has been ably aided by fellow Combs &c. researchers including (but most certainly not limited to) Vince Griffin, Leslie Owens, Les Archdall and Peter Archdale.

One of the most exciting aspects of this research has been the discovery that John COMBE, long known as a “Merchant of London,” was also a member of the Drapers Company, with activities and interests that gained him the title of “Adventurer” -- both under the law due to his financial interest in companies such as the Virginia and Levantine, and also by virtue of his travels. In the months and years to come, it is our goal to not only document all possible ancestors and decendents of John, but to know and understand his and their lives as they lived them. We offer our appreciation to all who have assisted in this effort, no matter how collaterally.

Major corrections have been made in respect to earlier published family histories, including The Combes Genealogy… by Josiah H. Combs; the James L. Kendall Manuscript of 1943; and the (undated) Hazel M. Kendall Manuscript. 1

Four examples demonstrating the magnitude of the corrections are: (1) “Jamestown John” of 1619/20 Colonial Virginia was not the son of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe; (2) Archdale COMBE, son of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, died in 1634, not 1640; (3) John COMBE, son of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, died in Sparsholt, Berks, England, not in Virginia; and (4) John COMBE, h/o Margaret ARCHDALE, could not have been John COMBE, son of Richard COMBE of Combe Manor, Devonshire who died in 1619. 2

It is also important to note that Archdale COMBE of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia is still not documented as the son of John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe and grandson of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe. Although this relationship is highly likely, it is still considered tentative at this time. In the meantime, research continues.3

Every possible effort has been made to be as factual as possible in this report, and, unless otherwise stated, all statements include source references as noted.

All London graphics are copyright Corporation of London, courtesy of their Guildhall Library (Full-size reprints are available from the Guildhall Collage database). The Oxford University graphic is copyright Trinity College, courtesy of their Archives (See also photo credits below). We extend our deep appreciation to both, and to all others who have assisted in this research.

The Combes &c. Research Group

John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe
of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermary, London
Civic Costume
Common Councilman Civic Costume - Click here to view larger image
John COMBE, Adventurer, Merchant, Draper & London Common Councilman, born circa 1560, buried 7 Sep 1610, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England; married 11 Dec 1587, St. Antholins Budge Row, London, England, Margaret ARCHDALE (d/o Thomas & Mary CLIFTON Archdale), christened 06 Nov 1569, St. Antholin Budge Row, London, England; buried 19 Sep 1616, St. Mary's the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London, England.

The ancestry of John COMBE is unknown. Thus far, no christening records have been located for either John or his documented relatives, Ellis, Robert, John and Susan COMBE, or for his possible sister, Chrian (COMBE?) Langworth. Both Susan COMBE and Chrian (COMBE?) Langworth have ties to Devon, Susan having married John TYLLY in the Willand, Devonshire on 22 Dec 1614, and Chrian Langworth (mother of Margarett) having been of "Devonsheire" in 1629.4

The first record of John's existence is not until 15 Jul 1583, when he was "admitted to freedom" of the City of London by the Court of Common Council 5 by virtue of completion of his apprenticeship as a Draper to one Thomas PULLISON. It is this record that provides the basis for John's estimated year of birth of 1560, based on the usual age for apprenticeship to the Drapers being about 15 years, with the usual length of apprenticeship being about eight years. Only two earlier COMBE drapers have been located in the records of the Drapers Company, Thomas COMBES, gent, who was admitted to freedom in 1506, and Robert COMBES who was apprenticed in 1558 to Agnes (a.k.a. Agnet) ROBARDES (a.k.a. Robert AGUELT), and admitted to freedom in Oct 1567. 6

Drapers HallDrapers Hall - Click to View Larger ImageCity of London

John was probably apprenticed to Thomas PULLISON about 1575. Nothing is known of his activities during the years of his apprenticeship, but apprentices normally lived with their masters, and the PULLISON household was undoubtedly active socially as well as commercially given that Thomas PULLISON was an Alderman by no later than 1581, the Sherriff of London in 1582 and Lord Mayor of London in 1583, the same year that John attained his freedom. It is quite possible that John resided in St. Antholin Budge Row, where the PULLISON family is of record during the period 1551-1572 (and possibly much longer). Also living in St. Antholin at this time was Thomas ARCHDALE, also a Draper, and the father of John's bride-to-be, Margaret ARCHDALE. 7

St. AntholinSt. Antholin Budge Row - Click to View Larger ImageBudge Row
City of London

By the following year, John had entered the hemisphere of international trade, his investments in a number of "adventures" documented by his application to the Lord Secretary for admission to the Levant Company, in which he mentioned trading in Spain, Portugal, Flanders, the Barbary Coast, and that he had "adventured to sundrie places within the straights ever since October 1584 and 85 as to Marsalles to Lingee (?) and to Napels and to Venice…," adding that "…for voyages I have shipped goodes before by sea and overland and the ways of the Gambonne (?)........ since the 10th day of December 1586…" Neither the price of an apprenticeship, investments such as these, nor the lease to a house jointly owned by John and his partner, Thomas FARRINGDON by 1587, were insignificant, a strong indication that John's family was likely well-to-do. 8

Four years after becoming a freeman and draper, on 11 Dec 1587, "John COMBS, Merchant," 9 married Margaret ARCHDALE at St. Antholin Budge Row, London, their marriage recorded in the parish, and again in 1633/4 in the Harleian Visitations of London, Archdale Family, which also further documents Margaret's ancestry, listing her as the daughter of Thomas ARCHDALE. Margaret had probably lived in St. Antholin since birth, her parents, "Thomas ARCHDALE and Mary CLIFTON" having married there on 31 Oct 1568, and she having been christened there on 6 Nov 1569 [Source: LDS FHC IGI Extracted Parish Records of St. Antholin Bidge Row 1534-1754] ("Margaret daughter of Thomas ARCHDALE"). It is not known if the relationship between the Archdale and Combe families was long-standing (no evidence of this has been found as yet), but it is certain that John would have known his father-in-law, Thomas ARCHDALE, through the Drapers' Guild.

St. Mary the VirginSt. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury - Click here to view larger imageAldermanbury
City of London

John's "adventures" did not cease with his marriage. According to his own statement (part of the same declaration referenced above), less than a year after his marriage, in October 1588, John "voyuoged by sea…," this only a few months after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, 10 and only a few months prior to the birth of his first child, Margaret, christened on 1 Mar 1588/9 at St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, the daughter of "Mr. John COMBE, Merchant." Their second daughter, Mary, was christened the following year, on 25 May 1590 (the daughter of "Mr. Jhon COMBE, merchant"). Their family does not appear in parish records again until 2 Feb 1594/5 when a Margaret COMBE (presumably John's eldest daughter) was buried. On 11 Feb 1599/1600, John, son of "Mr. Jhon COMBE, merchant," was christened, but it appears that he died in the meantime (no burial record found) since, on 15 Aug 1602, yet another John, son of "Mr. John COMBE, Merchant," was christened. On 01 Oct 1604, William, son of "Mr. Jhon COMBE merchant," was christened and on 4 Dec 1606, a last son, Archdale, also son of "Mr. Jhon COMBE Merchant."

The reason for the 10 year gap (1590 to 1600) during which no children were christened is unknown. It is possible, of course, that John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe had other children during this time period who were christened elsewhere. If so, however, they were presumably daughters since John and Margaret's son, John, christened in 1602, is later documented as the eldest of their three living sons (see below).

There are also no extant records for John in the archives of the Drapers Company during the period 1590-1595, although he was clearly in London during at least part of this time since it was during the years 1591-4 that he applied for admission to the Levant Company. In 1596, the London Court of Orphan Recognizances included two entries for John COMBE as recognitor, his father-in-law Thomas ARCHDALE and Thomas' brother, Matthew, his suretors in the first instance, and Matthew ARCHDALE and William and Robert PALMER in the second (probably John's brother-in-law, William, and William's brother, Robert). In 1598, John was suretor (for whom is not known) again with Matthew ARCHDALE and Robert and William PALMER. The year 1598 was also the year that John entered the livery of the Drapers Company, having paid "livery wan to the Queen" (as did his father-in-law, Thomas ARCHDALE, and Thomas' brother, Matthew ARCHDALE), thus paving the way toward John's eventually becoming a Councilman of the London Court of Common Council. 11

The year 1598 is also when John COMBE and his partner, Thomas FARINGDON (and var. sp.), were sued by one Thomas TAYLOR who alleged that they had stolen wine from him that had been stored in a house whose lease the two had earlier assigned to him. FARINGDON deposed that he and John COMBE had owned the "lease of a howse called the Ship in the Bill," which had been assigned to one Thomas TAYLOR about 1587, and then in 1596/7 to Henry FRYTHE, a vinter of London. John COMBE, clearly concerned about his good name, also made a deposition in 1598, declaring that " he the sauid John COMBE th'other defendent by and for himselfe saith that he for his parte never intended or joyned with the said Thomas FARINGTON th'other of his defendent in anie unconscionable or crewell practice or prcidings tending to th'undoing on the same Complainant As he the said Compainant supposedly with has, or hath he the saide John COMBE at anie time bin privie to anie such unscionable practice or precedings, as he the said Complainant surmiseth neither did or hath he the said John COMBE meddles or joyned in anie dealings or matters with the saide Thomas FARINGTON with any way concerned him the saide Complaynant otherwise then as being Apton(?) with the said FFARINGTON...." The specific location of the Ship in the Bill has not yet been determined. 12

John is also recorded as having paid his livery fees for the years 1604 through 1606, and it is in this latter year, that he was first elected Warden of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, serving as an auditor of the Church Warden Accounts, and assigned to three committees. It was on 3 Jan 1605/6, that John took on his first known apprentice, "kinsman" Ellis COMBE (who, when he applied for his own admission to freedom in 1616, declared that he had apprenticed to John COMBE "a merchant in Aldermanbury 7 years at his house"). In 1606(?), John became a member of the Court of Assistants (governing body) of the Drapers Company, and in 1607(?) was appointed a Commissioner of the Court of Policies of Assurance.13

On 13 Dec 1608, John and Margaret's daughter, Mary, now age eighteen, married Randall MANNING of both London and Edmonton, Middlesex (where John, too, may have owned property - see John the younger).

On 7 Apr 1609 at an historic meeting of the Court of Assistants at the Drapers Company (of which John was a member), it was noted that a precept had been received from the Lord Mayor "asking for participation in the plantation in Virginia." This was the second charter of the Virginia Company, and the Assistants voted to "adventure" 150 pounds, to be "paid to Sir Thomas SMYTH and that a bill of adventure for the 150 pounds shall be taken under the seal of the Company." The Warden Accounts of the Company (1608/9) further indicate that John COMBE was one of ten men who personally invested five pounds each to be "adventured in the voyage for the plantation in Virginia…" 14

John continued to appear regularly in the records of the Drapers company throughout this period and until his death in 1610, by which time he had been elected a "Common counsell man" by the citizens of his ward:

London GuildhallLondon Guildhall Council Chamber - Click here to view larger imageCouncil Chamber

"Mr Jhon COMBE merchant and a Common counsell" was buried in the churchyard at St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury on 7 Sep 1610. That same month, administration of the estate of "Jn. COOMBE of St. M. Aldermanbury, London" was granted to "Magt. COOMBE, his relict."

Almost nothing is known of the life of John's family during the next few years. Margaret and her three young sons apparently remained in Aldermanbury, along with cousin Ellis, and possibly even her father (Thomas ARCHDALE was living in Aldermanbury at the time of his death, but may have had his own home, or lived with William and Barbara ARCHDALE Palmer, his youngest daughter and her husband). The boys were still minors: John the younger was only eight, William, six, and Archdale, four. Presumably, they lived comfortably: Parish records make reference to the burials of two servants of the Combes; and the 1629 will of son, William, included bequests to two more, both identified as his mother's. In November 1611, Margaret's father died, and less than five years later, she, too, was dead, buried at St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury on 19 Sep 1616 ("Mrs Margaret COMBE widdow"). Administration of her estate was granted that same year to her sister Barbara for the duration of the "minority of Jn., Wm. and Archdale COOMBE, vice Mgt. COOMBE, dec'd."

In January following, Ellis applied for his admission to freedom (long overdue, perhaps because of John's death?), and by August he had married Judith BARGAR (ancestry unknown). The three boys apparently resided with their Aunt Barbara following their mother's death (it is not known how long their sister, Mary COMBE Manning, lived after the birth of her daughter). In 1619, John matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford University, followed by his brother, William in 1620, and brother, Archdale in 1623:

Trinity CollegeTrinity College, Courtesy Trinity College ArchivesOxford University

In May 1634, John assumed administration of his mother's estate, administration de bonis non 15 being granted to him as Margaret's eldest (and perhaps only surviving) son. In June of that same year, John COMBE and his wife, Elizabeth [LOVETT], are found in the records of St. Antholin Budge Row and St. John the Baptist Walbrook, London, selling property in those two parishes, possibly property inherited by Margaret ARCHDALE Combe from her father, Thomas ARCHDALE whose 1609 St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury will mentions both parishes, and in November 1634, John assumed administration of the estate of his brother, Archdale (probably deceased by May?).

Descendants of John & Margaret ARCHDALE Combe

1. Margaret COMBE, d/o John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, christened 1 Mar 1588/89; buried 2 Feb 1594/5, both in St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England.

While the burial record does not identify Margaret as the daughter of John, it is considered highly likely since no further record of her is ever found, and the 1599 St. Michael Paternoster Royal, London will of Matthew ARCHDALE, draper of London (paternal uncle of Margaret ARCHDALE Combe) includes a bequest to their second daughter, Mary, with no mention of elder daughter, Margaret.

2. Mary COMBE, d/o John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, was christened on 25 May 1590 in St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England. She died bef 1630, possibly in Edmonton, Middlesex, England; married 13 Dec 1608, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England, Mr. Randall MANNING, merchant, of London and Edmonton, Middlesex (son of Randall MANNING I Esq., of London and Katherine DERING, d/o Nicholas), born before 1587. (Parish Register and Visitations of London, 1633-5).

Mary's baptismal and marriage records are both in St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury. The will of her maternal great-uncle, Matthew ARCHDALE, dated 14 Nov 1599, London, includes a bequest to "cosen Marie dr of cosen COMBES" (Mary, d/o Margaret ARCHDALE Combe). Mary's marriage to Randall MANNING is further confirmed by the Visitations of London, 1633-5, Manning Family, which states that Randall MAN'INGE of Edmondton [Edmonton, Middlesex] m Mary COMBE, d/o John COMBE as his first wife, and by her had a daughter who married a DITCHFIELD.

Mary COMBE Manning was deceased by 1630, by which time Randall MANNING had remarried (Visitations…; 2nd wife's name unknown). Note: She was probably deceased before 16 Feb 1629/30 when her brother, William signed his will in Oxfordshire, and possibly even predeceased her mother. It is possible that William was referring to her daughter when he referred to "WCall, MANNING." Mary COMBE Manning's only known issue was her daughter, Mary:

2.1. Mary MANNING, d/o Randall and Mary COMBE Manning, born 1609-1618, married 27 Mar 1631/2, St. Botolph Bishopsgate, London, Edward DITCHFIELD (s/o Edward of London and Edmonton, Middlesex). Mary MANNING Ditchfield was still alive as late 1650 when named in the Wanlip, Leicestershire will of her maternal great-aunt, Barbara ARCHDALE Palmer, who referred to her as "my cousin Mary DITCHFIELD…"

See Ditchfield-Manning Families for more re the descendants of Edward and Mary MANNING Ditchfield, but note that Edward DITCHFIELD and/or his father were also heavily involved in various "Adventures" relative to the Colonies, including the Virginia Company.

3. Mr. John COMBE, Armiger, 16 christened on 15 Aug 1602 in St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England; was buried 24 Apr 1652 in Sparsholt, Berkshire, England; m 8 Jul 1630, Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, England, Elizabeth LOVETT (daughter of Sir Robert and Anne SAUNDERS Lovett); christened 3 Apr 1614, Wotten Underwood, Buckinghamshire; died aft 1656, possibly in Oxfordshire, England.

In 1616, following the death of his mother in St. Mary Aldermanbury, London, John is named in her estate records as a minor son (assuming his birth to have been ca1602, he would have been abt 14 years of age at the time).

On 15 Oct 1619, "John COMBE of London, son of a gentleman," age 17 [b ca 1602], matriculated at Trinity College, Oxfordshire. On this same date, his cousin, Joseph ALVEY, aged 19, son of a clerk (rector), also matriculated at Trinity. Joseph was the son of Arthur and Alice ARCHDALE Alvey of Knotting, Bedfordshire, the latter first cousin to John's mother, Margaret ARCHDALE Combe. Joseph ALVEY is also named in the 1629/30 Oxfordshire will of John's brother, William.

In 1622, John COMBE was reimbursed his "caution money" (deposit) by Trinity and, according to Foster's Oxonienses, was the same John COMBE who was admitted to the Inner Temple of London on 29 Jun 1622, as "John COMBE, gent., son and heir [eldest son] of John COMBE of Edmonton, Middlesex, [esquire], deceased."

Although the basis for Foster's statement remains unknown, Edmonton, Middlesex was also home to John's brother-in-law and sister, Randall and Mary COMBE Manning, and (later on) the latter couple's son-in-law and daughter, Edward and Mary MANNING Ditchfield. Edmonton was adjacent to the parish of Tottenham where John's aunt Barbara ARCHDALE Palmer owned property. It is also possible that John COMBE of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury held no property in Edmonton, but that his son, John, was living with (or listing as his primary residence) his sister, Mary COMBE Manning, by the time he entered the Inner Temple.

No record is found indicating that John completed his stint at the Inner Temple; i.e., became a barrister and no further record is found of him until 1629 when he and his brother, Archdale, were named in the Oxfordshire will of their brother, William..

The next record of John is on 8 Jul 1630 in Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, England when he married Elizabeth LOVETT, daughter of Sir Robert and Ann SAUNDERS Lovett (See also St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, as Elizabeth LOVETT may have also had kin in that parish). Three children, Elizabeth, Robert and John, were born to John and Elizabeth and christened at Soulbury between 1631 and 1634. In April 1634, John's brother, Archdale COMBE, died s.p. (without issue) in Oxfordshire, and John, now the last surviving child of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, administered his estate. The following month, on 08 May 1634, John assumed administration of his mother's estate ("Margaret COMBE of St. Mary's Aldermanbury, London to John COMBE, son being now of age 8 May 1634. This was previously granted September, 1616, but was repeated for a reason under further investigation."), and in June of 1634, John and wife, Elizabeth, sold property in St. Antholins Budge Row and St. John the Baptist Walbrook to one George THETCHER. 17

In Nov 1639, after a more than four-year gap, the baptism of John and Elizabeth's daughter, Ann, was recorded in Soulbury, Bucks. It is not known where John and Elizabeth were living at the time, nor if they may have had other children during this period that were born in another parish. In 1641, a son Archdale was born to them, his baptism recorded in Soulbury in November of that year, the last of their children recorded in that parish.

On 14 Sep 1643, Elizabeth's father, Sir Robert LOVETT, was buried in Sparsholt, Berkshire. According to the Lovett Memorials…, he was on his way home to Liscombe, Soulbury, Bucks, from his son, Edward's home in Tawstock, Devonshire (where early Combs are also found, but not yet actively researched). Only three months after his father's burial, on 30 Dec 1643, "John LOVETT, Esq.," eldest son of Sir Robert (and husband of Katherine WROTHE of Woodford Bridge, Essex according to the Visitations of Bucks, 1634), was also buried there. Sometime between Nov 1641 (the christening of their son, Archdale) and 20 Feb 1643/44 (the christening of their son, John), John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe removed to Sparsholt, Berkshire. John the younger was buried the day after he was christened, and the next record of the family is in 1645 when a daughter Sarah was born to John and Elizabeth, their last known recorded child. The family do not again appear in parish records until Nov 1649 when their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Mr. Arthur CREWE in Sparsholt.18

On 13 Sep 1650, John's maternal aunt and former guardian, Barbara ARCHDALE Palmer, wrote her Wanlip, Leicestershire will, including bequests to, among others, "my cousin John COMBE'S wife, to my cousin Mary DITCHFIELD…" (Elizabeth LOVETT Combe and Mary MANNING Ditchfield). Barbara's will also made mention of the property at Page Green, Tottenham, Middlesex, adjacent to Edmonton, Middlesex, where both the DITCHFIELDS and MANNINGS resided, and as noted above, possibly John himself.

The next record of John is in the Sparsholt parish register: "1652 April the 24th was buried Mr John COMBE." While no extant will has been located to date, there is an administration, Reference PROB 6/27 folio 90, p.93 dated May 1652 at the PRO in London, which is part of the will and administration records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury: ""John COMBE The thirteenth day A Domn: y srued for tz(?) to Elizabeth COMBE the relict of John COMBE late of Sparsholt in the County of Berke Esqr deced havenige goode ___ to adster the same goods & beinge first sworne truly to adster". The term "Mihab" appears in the right column next to the administration statement."

This same month administration of the estate of John's brother, William, was granted to "Elizabeth COMBE ye mother &c. Curatrix of Margarett COMBE ye neece of William COMBE… fellow of Oriell… Colledge in … Deced… ye goods of ye said deceased wch were left… unadministered by John COMBE (&)? Archdale COME ye brothers… _xe_utors, alsoe deceased. During the minority of ye said Margarett COMBE ye neece of ye said… and effect of the said will, shee being first sworne faithfully to administer." 19

Where Elizabeth and the children resided during the next four years remains unknown. No further record of them is found until 1656 when Elizabeth was "of Oxon" [Oxfordshire], having apprenticed her fifteen-year old son, "Archadell COMBES, son of John COMBES of Sparsholt, Berks., Arm, dec" to her brother, Draper Christopher LOVETT. 20 Her son, Robert, would have been 22 years of age by this time, and younger daughters, Anne and Sarah, sixteen and eleven respectively.

The known children of John and Elizabeth LOVETT are:

3.1. Elizabeth, christened 22 Jan 1631/32, Soulbury, Bucks; married 10 Nov 1649 in Sparsholt, Berkshire, England, Mr. Arthur CREWE.

On 12 Jun 1651, Sparsholt parish records include the christening of "Elizabeth CREW the daughter of Arthure CREW & Elizabeth his wife," after which no further record is found of them [except… a note from Joe Kendalll that Arthor CREW being a merchant Taylor is part of the St Mary Aldermanbury (not "the Virgin") parish register he abstracted… that we may not yet have…???].

3.2. John, christened 24 Jan 1632/33, Soulbury, Bucks.

It is believed that John died young -- before a second child, John, was christened and buried in 1643.

3.3 Robert, christened 3 Aug 1634, Soulbury, Bucks.

No more information. Since Robert is the eldest known living son of John and Elizabeth, learning what became of him could be critical to documenting other members of this family. The only "potential" marriage records found for Robert are:

3.4 Ann, christened 01 Nov 1639, Soulbury, Bucks.

No more information.

3.5 Archdale, christened 16 Nov 1641, Soulbury, Bucks; apprenticed as a draper on 10 Apr 1656.

"Archadell COMBES, son of John of Sparsholt, Berkshire, Armiger, deceased," was apprenticed as a Draper on 10 Apr 1656 for £1000 for eight years by his mother, Elizabeth [LOVETT} Combes of Oxon [Oxfordshire], widow," to Christopher LOVETT, his maternal uncle, who was in Dublin, Ireland by 18 Apr 1658 based on the christening date of his son, Christopher, at St. John the Evangelist in Dublin. The Drapers Company records Christopher was in Dublin in 1662 and on 27 Nov 1663, his daughter, Elizabeth, was christened at St. John's. The next christening of one of Christopher's children is not until 8 Apr 1670, and it is not yet known if he was absent from Dublin during the interim. It is also not yet known if Archdale COMBE of Soulbury also removed to Dublin, but is considered probable as apprentices normally resided with their masters. The Drapers Guild has no further record of Archdale after 1656 or of Christopher after 1662, but Archdale's apprenticeship, assuming he completed it, would have ended in 1664, and it is considered highly possible that he was the same as Archdale COMBE who first appears in the records of the Virginia Colony in 1665 in both Stafford and Old Rappahannock Counties, Virginia (Research in progress. See also below).

3.6 John, christened and buried on 21 Feb 1642/3, Sparsholt, Berks. No more information.

3.7 Sarah, christened 9 Mar 1644/5, Sparsholt, Berks. No more information.

3.8 Margaret, born ?????, buried 25 Feb 1653/4, Sparsholt, Berks?

No baptismal record has been found for Margaret, the only record of her the above-mentioned May 1652 Oxfordshire estate administration of her uncle William COMBE. An unidentified Margaret COMBE, was buried in Sparsholt on 25 Feb 1653/4, and may have been the same. If an extant baptismal record could be located for Margaret, then that parish's register might reveal yet more children of John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe. A search of IGI entries reveals no Margaret born to a John during the period 1630-1652; however, since IGI parish extracts account for less than one third of England's parishes, it may be that the record is extant, but still unpublished.

4. William COMBE, son of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe, Fellow, Oriel College, Oxfordshire, christened 01 Oct 1604, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England; died s.p. Feb-Mar 1629/30, Oxfordshire, England.

In 1616, following the death of his mother in St. Mary Aldermanbury, London, William was named in her estate records as a minor son (assuming his birth to have been circa 1604, he would have been abt 12 years of age at the time). In 1620, William COMBE paid his "caution money" to Trinity College in Oxfordshire. (Archivist, Trinity College, Oxfordshire, Correspondence with Combs Researcher Denise Mortorff, 1998)

William apparently never married, nor left Oxford. By the time he died in 1629/30, he was a fellow at Oriel College, and there is undoubtedly much additional data still to be found in regard to his tenure at Oxford. This would include extracts from Foster's Oxford Oxonienses, which should also include some additional information in regard to his age, his ancestry and his father's residence. Apparently other records exist in regard to books William and his brother, Archdale, both donated to Trinity College prior to their deaths, and there should be a record of his appointment as a fellow to Oriel College.

William COMBE, fellow of Oriel College, Oxford University, died testate in 1629 (OS) between 22 Feb when he signed his will, and 5 Mar when his successor at Oriel was appointed. His will is replete with bequests to numerous relatives (See Oriel College) including naming his brothers, John and Archdale, co-executors. In 1634, his brother, Archdale, died in Oxfordshire, also s.p., 21 and administration of their estates fell to their brother, John, who died in April 1652. The last record of William so far is in May 1652 when his sister-in-law, Elizabeth (LOVETT) assumes administration of his estate (there may be other, later estate records not yet found).

5. Archdale COMBE, christened 4 Dec 1606, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England, died s.p. by Nov 1634, Oxfordshire, England.22

Following his baptism in 1606, Archdale is next recorded in the 1609 (dated) will of his maternal grandfather, Thomas ARCHDALE of St. Antholins Budge Row, London (The fact that neither of his elder brothers are named in this will, and that neither did Thomas ARCHDALE name all the children of his other daughters, may indicate that earlier deeds of gift took place).

In 1616, following the death of his mother in St. Mary Aldermanbury, London, Archdale is named in her estate records as a minor son (assuming his birth to have been ca1606, he would have been abt 10 years of age at the time).

On 22 Oct 1624, "Archdale COOMBE, son of John COOMBE of Aldermanbury, London" matriculated Trinity College, Oxford, aged 16 (b ca1608). He graduated BA on 20 June 1626 (as COMBES), and at some point prior to 1630, like his brother, William, he donated books to Trinity College.

Also like his brother, Archdale apparently remained unmarried and in Oxfordshire until his death as this is the county where his estate records are found, administration having been granted to his last surviving sibling, his brother, John, on 12 Nov 1634.

In Conclusion…
Added Notes and Points to Ponder

As noted above, a number of extant records have been located, but not yet been ordered or received. There are also a number of records that have not yet been located (and it not yet known if they are extant). In addition, some conflicts still remain in regard to some of the records. Those conflicts appear to be minor in nature and have not been included herein as yet since ongoing active research will hopefully resolve them within a short period of time. Until then, this report should continue to be considered a tentative genealogy.

One primary goal in the research of the family of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe is to determine whether Archdale COMBE of Soulbury and Archdale Combs of Old Rappa were one and the same. With the given name Archdale, it is hard to imagine that any man by that name was not somehow related to John COMBE, h/o Margaret ARCHDALE; however, the fact is that the ancestry of Archdale COMBE of Old Rappa remains unknown. Although Archdale of Soulbury is most certainly the most likely (only) candidate at the time, we still have (1) no records documenting they were one and the same; nor even (2) any records proving that either of them knew any of the same individuals and/or families. At present, it appears that possible records in Ireland are our best hope of documenting this line; however, research is also in progress in regard to both the siblings and mother of Archdale of Soulbury. It should also be noted that neither the location of his marriage, nor the year and location of the death have been found for Archdale of Old Rappa. The possibility that he died in England (or even Ireland -- anywhere, for that matter) should not be discounted.

Despite the lack of "connecting" records, individuals or families for Archdale COMBE of Old Rappa, another important point is that also in Old Rappa Co VA, associated closely with the same individuals as Archdale, was Abraham COMBE whose relationship to Archdale remains unknown, but who later removed to St. Mary's Co, Maryland where he is found in the estate records of Joseph ALVEY, son of Pope and Mary ARCHDALE Alvey, Sr. (named in the 1629 Oxfordshire will of William COMBE), as was a James LANGWORTH (s/o John) who was possibly another "cousin." Like Archdale of Old Rappa, the ancestry of Abraham of Old Rappa remains unknown. He may have had a sister named Joan/Jane who m John MEADOR of Old Rappa (research in progress); but no record of either his birth, nor that of a Joan, has been found to date. Also, again like Archdale, the age of Abraham is unknown. If, however, it is proven by the estate records of William COMBE (not yet viewed) that his brother, John, had an unrecorded child named Margaret, then also to be considered is the possibility that John and Elizabeth LOVETT Combe had yet more children who have not yet been identified, including possibly a son named Abraham (possibly named after Abraham ARCHDALE?) and a daughter named Joan/Jane.

Reminder: Also possible is that John MEADOR was the "brother-in-law" of Abraham COMBE because of a remarriage by either Abraham's mother, or John MEADOR'S mother or father, or because their wives were sisters, or because either one of them was the brother to the other's wife).

End Notes

  1. Despite known errors, each of these three sources nevertheless contain valuable information, and all have been republished electronically by Combs &c. (See Source References). The Combes Genealogy… has been annotated to indicate additions and corrections, but this has not yet been done in the case of the two manuscripts, and researchers are advised to use great care before accepting either "as is."
  2. The statement that John COMBE could not have been the son of Richard COMBE of Combe Manor, Devonshire, is based on the assumption that it is true that Richard COMBE's son, John, was born on 10 Mar 1667 (FamilySearch.Org, temple record, film no. 1903896, and AFN: 4HP1-TR), the original source for which is still unknown.
  3. Archdale COMBES of Sparsholt, Berks has not been found in the records after contracting in 1656 to be apprenticed for eight years (until ca 1664) as a Draper (Drapers Company of London). Archdale COMBES of Virginia first appears in the records in 1665 (Stafford County), and it is highly likely that the two are one and the same. There are, however, a number of avenues of research still unexplored, and until there is far more certainty than at present, the best that can be stated is that it is "probable."
  4. Ellis COMBE was termed "my kinsman" in the 1629 will of John's son, William COMBE of Orion College, Oxford University, Oxfordshire. The 1633 will of Ellis COMBE of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London, names brothers, Robert and John, and "sister Suzan the wife of John TILLY" (John TYLLY and Susan COMBE married 22 Dec 1614 in Willand, Devonshire). The will of William COMBE also includes a bequest to "my aunte Chrian LANGWORTH livinge in Devonsheire" and her daughter Margarett. Chrian (Christian? Christine?) was not, so far as can be told, an ARCHDALE, thus possibly a COMBE and sister of John. No record of a COMBE-LANGWORTH marriage has been found, nor any record of the birth of Chrian (or var. spelling) COMBE that might fit the probably time frames.
  5. The importance of John's "admission to freedom" as a citizen of the City of London cannot be overstated: Not having one's freedom meant being the "property of feudal lords, and unable to business in the City. (Freedom of the City: What It Meant to our London Ancestors)
  6. The estimate of John's year of birth at "circa 1560" is both broad and tentative. Use of age fifteen and a term of eight is based on early records collected thus far for other Combs and Combs-associated Drapers, but in fact, the minimum age of an apprentice was fourteen years, and the maximum twenty. Moreover, (though oft ignored), the legal minimum age for admission to freedom was twenty-four. (Freedom of the City, op. cit.) Thus, although John could not have been born later than 1562, his birth could have taken place substantially earlier; i.e., if he was age twenty when bound as an apprentice, and his term of apprenticeship ten years, his year of birth would have been 1553. Although this latter is an extreme example, until such time as more information has been collected, it must remain a consideration.

    According to the records of the Drapers Company, Thomas COMBE, gent. of 1506, became a Draper by redemption (purchase or gift), not by apprenticeship, and no more is known of him at this time (See also Thomas COMBE of the Inner Temple in 1607). Draper records for Robert COMBE of 1558 do not indicate where he lived in London, nor when he died. The last record of him is in 1576. Both Robert and Thomas may have been been common given names in John's family: His kinsman, Ellis COMBE named a son, Thomas, and had brothers, Robert and John, and John's own son, John, named a son, Robert (albeit probably after his father-in-law, Sir Robert LOVETT). There is also an unidentified Thomas COMBE who was christened at St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury on 2 Oct 1557 (parents not named), and in the manor of Tottenham, Middlesex (adjacent to Edmonton) is found record of a John COMBE who died 1540-6, survived by sons John, Thomas and Robert and wife, Christine, this latter possibly significant given that John may have had a sister named Chrian.
  7. Thomas PULLISON was Lord Mayor of London in 1583 (Past Lord Mayors of London), a position one could not attain without first having been Sheriff of London, with both positions requiring a term as Alderman (History of the Office of Lord Mayor) It was standard for apprenticeship agreements to include food, clothing and housing, and apprentices normally either lived with their masters or in housing provided by their masters. Thomas PULLISON is believed to have been the same to whom twelve children were christened at St. Antholin Budge Row during the period 1551-1570 (and a daughter married there in 1572). Thomas ARCHDALE, father of Margaret, was admitted to freedom in 1559 by virtue of his apprenticeship as a Draper to Thomas DUFFIELD (Drapers Company records), is first recorded in St. Antholin on 31 Oct 1568 when he married Margaret's mother, Mary CLIFTON (d/o Richard and Margaret MORTON Clifton).
  8. Application for admission to the Levant Company. Calender of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the reign of Elizabeth, 1591- 1594, PRO, HMSO, 1867. London. p. 53-55. Thomas Taylor vs. Thomas Faringdon and John Combe, Court of Requests PRO REQ2/276/15; folio 3 ("filed" for Combs &c. research purposes in the Combs &c. report for the Drapers Company).
  9. Although termed in some records John COMBE, Merchant, and in others as John COMBE, Draper, these were not mutually exclusive nor conflicting descriptions. Merchant was simply a broader description than Draper (See Drapers Company and also note that John COMBE'S father-in-law, Thomas ARCHDALE, was also variously described as both Merchant and Draper).
  10. John's statement about his Oct 1588 sea voyage is in the same declaration in which he applied for admission to the Levant Company (No. 8 above). The defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British Navy in May of this same year (1588) may have played a role in John's activities: Not including coasters, only 34 ships of the British Navy participated in this battle. An additional 34 merchant ships were appointed to serve under Sir Francis DRAKE (Vice Admiral) and another 18 to the Lord High Admiral (HOWARD, Lord of Effingham). Thirty more ships were fitted out and paid for by the City of London, and at least 34 more ships, volunteers, arrived after the Armada was off England's coast, the latter group including the Greyhound of Aldeborough, on which was one Michael PULLISON. (Information on the Spanish Armada by Nathan D. Grand (no sources included)). This may have been Mihill [Michael] PULLISON, son of Thomas, who was christened on 8 Nov 1562, Saint Antholin Budge Row, London, England. (FamilySearch.Org, Film No. 6903536)
  11. See Archdale, Combe, Comber, Lovett etc. of the Drapers Company; and Freedom of the City… Only those who wore the "livery" (uniform, customary clothing) of their Company were eligible to hold office as a Common Councilman (a.k.a. Common Counsellor) or Alderman.
  12. Thomas Taylor vs. Thomas Faringdon and John Combe, Court of Requests PRO REQ2/276/15; folio 3.
  13. Archdale-Combes &c. of the Drapers Company, but note that the sequence of years vs. the various appointments is still being researched due to conflicts between sources.
  14. ibid. See also Combs &c. of The Virginia Company
  15. Administration "de bonis non" is granted for the purpose of administering such of the goods of a deceased person as were not administered by the former executor or administrator. (Black's Law)
  16. The right to use the title, armiger, was contingent upon having armorial status (the right to bear arms); i.e., at some point, either John or his father had been granted a heraldic coat of arms. See Combs &c. English Heraldry.
  17. George and Ann THETCHER (aka TACHER, THACKER, THATCHER, etc.) were residing in St. Stephen Walbrook, London, by 29 Sep 1628 when their son, John, was christened. See also records of Old Rappa and Westmoreland Counties, VA and Cammock Families re Sylvester THATCHER, associate of Archdale COMBE and first husband of Warwick CAMMOCK's wife, Margaret.
  18. The author of the Lovett Memorials was unaware that Sir Robert had an eldest son, John, and apparently also unaware of Elizabeth's presence in that parish. It is not known if John and Elizabeth were residing there at the time of her father's and brother's deaths, or if they came to Sparsholt afterward (perhaps to take charge of estates?). There were a much earlier Thomas and Maude COMBE in the parish (latter 1500s) who have not been identified. The connection seems more likely to have been through the Lovett family than Combe. The English Civil War may have also impacted on their family at this time, there having been heavy fighting in Berks in the early 1640s.
  19. The mention of Margaret in the grant of administration of William's will to Elizabeth is yet another mystery: If the children's names were to be included, why not all the children? Why only Margaret? When William died in 1629, his brother (to the best of our knowledge, assuming there was no earlier marriage) had not even married yet. One possible answer is that she was born posthumously, but the gap in time seems far too narrow; i.e., John had died only the month before.
  20. This record not only documents John COMBE'S armorial status, but also provides yet another indication of the family's wealth: £1,000 in 1656 was the equivalent of abt $200,000 USD, assuming today's dollar to pound exchange rate. The Drapers Company Archives include no additional data in regard to Archdale COMBE other than his apprenticeship; however, those archives do not include all extant Irish Drapers records, some of which are currently housed in Belfast (research in progress).
  21. sin prole (s.p.): without issue (no children).
  22. According to Josiah H. Combs' Combes Genealogy, Archdale COMBE died in 1654 [sic], his will written "several years before his death, names "niece, Margaret, married to John COMES…" James Logan Kendall's 1943 Manuscript states: "a bro. Archdale, appears to have d. in 1652, with a niece Margaret, mentioned in his will (New Eng. Register Vols. 43, p. 158; Vol.47, p. 83-84)." This last reference has been reviewed, and refers only to the Archdales. It appears that neither Combs nor Kendall had actually seen a will and were instead basing their statements on the 1652 record whereby Elizabeth LOVETT Combe assumes administration of the will, including the puzzling mention of her daughter, Margaret (see Oriel College, Oxford University).

Source References:*

*Except where otherwise noted, all of the following references are to Combs &c. Research Reports. Other than special reports such as those for the Drapers' Company, the Inner Temple, etc., records are filed with the county, parish, etc., all linked to the applicable family report(s) (such as this one)

  1. Abraham COMBE of Old Rappa, Virginia and St. Mary's, Maryland
  2. Archdale & Elizabeth COMBES of Old Rappa, Virginia
  3. Arthur and Alice ARCHDALE Alvey
  4. Cammock Families
  5. Charles County, Maryland
  6. English Heraldry
  7. The Combes Genealogy…
  8. The Drapers Guild of London - Archdale, Combe, Comber, Lovett, etc.
  9. The Drapers Company of London - Its History, Function and Usefulness to Genealogical Research
  10. Dublin, Ireland
  11. Early Combs &c. to Maryland
  12. Early Combs &c. to Virginia
  13. Edmonton, Middlesex
  14. Ellis and Jane BARGER Combe of London
  15. Hazel M. Kendall Manuscript
  16. Heraldic Visitations
  17. Inner Temple of London
  18. Knotting, Bedfordshire
  19. James L. Kendall Manuscript of 1943
  20. Lovett Memorials
  21. Matthew and Mary CLIFTON Archdale
  22. Middle Temple of London
  23. Old Rappahannock County, Virginia
  24. Oxfordshire
  25. Oxford University
  26. Sir Robert and Anne SAUNDERS Lovett
  27. St. Antholin Budge Row, London, England
  28. St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, London, England
  29. St. Mary's County, Maryland
  30. Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, England
  31. Sparsholt, Berkshire
  32. Stafford County, Virginia
  33. Tawstock, Devonshire
  34. Thomas and Mary CLIFTON Archdale
  35. Tottenham, Middlesex
  36. Wanlip, Leicestershire
  37. Westmoreland County, Virginia
  38. Willand, Devonshire

Photo Credits and References:*

*Except where otherwise noted, all of the following credits and references are to images provided courtesy of the Corporation of the City of London, Guildhall Library, Collage database (copyright Corporation of London). In almost every instance, the Collage database has additional images with additional information, full size reprints of all of which can be ordered.

  1. The coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Drapers was granted by the Garter King of Arms in 1438, the first coat of arms issued to any London Guild (History of the Drapers…, op. cit.)
  2. The Common Councilman Civic Costume graphic was created from an engraving on paper described as a "View of a Common Councilman of the City of London, William John Reeves, in civic costume wearing a robe and carrying a scroll of paper," and adds that "William Reeves was deputy for the ward of Farringdon Without." It was executed in 1825 by artist Thomas Lord Busby.  
  3. The Drapers Hall graphic was created from an ink and pen on paper described as a "Front elevation of the Drapers Hall" executed circa 1850 by an anonymous artist.  
  4. The St. Antholin Budge Row graphic was created from a watercolour on paper described as a "View of St Antholin from the west, also showing figures in the street" executed circa 1850 by an anonymous artist.  
  5. The St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury graphic was created from a wash on paper described as a "View of corner at Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe, with the tower of St Andrew Undershaft" executed in 1817 by artist Robert Blemmell Schnebbelie.  
  6. The London Guildhall Council Chamber graphic was created from an aquatint on paper described as a "Group portrait of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council in the Guildhall Council Chamber" executed in 1825 by artist Richard Deighton.  
  7. The Trinity College, Oxford University image is copyright Trinity College, courtesy of their Archives. No additional information is provided, but they do note that prints of the College in their archives date from 1675.  

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John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combe